The limitations of the textbook
Two different textbook issues emerge from the various chapters. The first relates to those textbooks in the QLD subjects. As Bradney (2010, p. 1028) points out, empirical legal research is largely missing from textbooks, even where such research has been carried out. Although the authors in this volume point out some notable exceptions, they conclude that in the majority of QLD subjects the textbooks available are a constraint to a sociolegal approach to teaching. As Rosemary Auchmuty puts it:
How are we to persuade students that the textbook account is inadequate? The textbook is the Authority in many of our classrooms; for most students, what appears in a book published by Oxford University Press must be more reliable than something said by their obviously biased lecturer in class. (p. 77)
The second is a lack of socio-legal methods textbooks available for use with students. Both chapters on standalone modules point to the lack of a suitable textbook on socio-legal studies. Peter Vincent-Jones and Sarah Blandy refer their students to a number of non-law-specific social-science methods texts. This situation may, however, be eased by a number of new publishing initiatives, including the series in which this volume appears.